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Biography

Elena Ariza, born into a musical family, she started piano lessons at age 3 and cello lessons at age 4. Recently featured as both a soloist and a chamber musician on NPR’s “From the Top” show, Elena won the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra’s Concerto Competition in 2015 and will perform as a soloist at the Davies Symphony Hall with its orchestra in November.  Elena has been a member of SFSYO since 2011 and currently serves as Principal Cellist since 2014. She is also engaged to perform as a soloist with the Parnassus Symphony in March of 2016 at the Herbst Theatre, SF.

Elena’s solo appearances with orchestras include the Palo Alto Philharmonic, the Diablo Valley Orchestra and the South Valley Symphony, and the Menlo Orchestra. She has performed in many countries’ various venues besides the U.S., including solo appearances in Spain and Japan, and orchestral appearances twice in the prestigious Berlin Philharmonie Hall in Germany and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Past awards in solo competitions include 1st place in the Music Teachers National Association’s California State Competition, 1st place in the Menuhin-Dowling Competition, 1st place in the Pacific Musical Society Competition, 1st place in all 3 age categories in the CMTANC’s International Youth Music Competition, 1st place in the American String Teachers Association Competition, 1st place in the Burlingame String Competition 2015 and runner-up at the Mondavi Young Artists Competition.

Elena performed at the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in 2012 as the winner of both the American Fine Arts Festival and the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition. Elena completed and received the Young Artist Certificate, the highest level of the certificate program in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College Division where she currently studies.

As a chamber musician, Elena has participated in the SF Conservatory’s Chamber Music Program since 2008 and currently plays in the Cambiata String Quartet. The Cambiata Quartet was featured at “From the Top” in February of 2015 at SFCM and won 1st place in the Chamber Music Competition in Sacramento, CA in 2015. She has also played in the AYE Piano Trio since 2013 in the Young Chamber Musicians program. Recently, the AYE Trio won 1st prize in the Galante Prize Chamber Music Competition in 2015 and 2nd prize in the ENKOR International Chamber Music Competition. Also, Elena was named as the winner of Ensemble San Francisco Chamber Music Student Competition and performed with the ESF members.

Elena has performed in master classes led by David Finckel, Ronald Leonard, Colin Carr, Robert deMaine, Natasha Brofsky, Bonnie Hampton, Irene Sharp, Hakuro Mori, and Sang-Min Park, among others. In past summers, she has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival and Institute, and the Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival and School.

In her spare time, Elena enjoys computer programming and riding her unicycle, as well as playing with her family ensemble. 

This biography was most recently edited by...
Nagisa Ariza - 21 Sep 2015
Nagisa Ariza - 21 Sep 2015
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